Monday, October 31, 2005

A Note on NaNo

As I have mentioned to several of you in your own blogs, I have decided to embark on the sadistic endeavor known as NaNoWriMo. I am going to write a novel in 30 days. Now I have no idea how this is going to work but I am preparing myself for numerous sleepless nights.

For my novel, I have decided to let all of you follow along with me as I post nearly every day on another site. It is a blog site and you can access it here. The name of my novel is "Down the River" and it will follow the adventures of a young man named Hoot Peterson who lives in Pagosa Springs, Colorado in the 1930's and is desirous to become more than just a ranch hand. He finds an opportunity to go into show business but he must jump into a barrel and plunge down the rapids of the Colorado River to be considered. It is based on a true story that my Granddad use to tell of a guy he knew that did just that.

I am pretty excited to get started on this as I have been thinking about it nonstop for two weeks now. I have not done any outlining or anything like that, but I do have some ideas. To be honest, I have no idea what to expect. I am just going to be as longwinded as I can.

For those of you participating as well, I look forward to your efforts as well. This ought to be fun or tiring or both. Please follow along if you can. Thanks and see you all in a month.

Friday, October 28, 2005

A Note for My 200th

So, here it is. #200. I am pretty proud of the whole thing to be honest. I can't believe I made it. In honor of the momentous occasion, I have decided to give you all a little bit of fun and allow you to ask any question of me that you would like. I will be thoroughly honest and honestly thorough.

I will answer all of the questions in the comments. Now you need not limit your questions to questions about me. This is not a selfish pat on the back kind of thing. I will answer philosophical questions, questions about you, trivia questions. You name the question, I will answer it.

I have always kind of liked the Peanuts strip where I think Lucy answers all of the questions for 25 cents. Well, I won't even charge you the two bits. So, come on folks, "The King is In."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A List of the Unknown

Well, this is my 199th post leading up to the big 200 in the next few days. As some of you will recall from my 100th post, I did the 100 things about me based on my first 100 posts. For today's 199th post I should like to revisit that idea but this time, I'd like to reveal 20 things that you will not have known about me just by reading my blog. I hope this will be enlightening.

1. I know a hint of Japanese, enough to say, "My, you look fat today."
2. I had a crush on my first grade teacher, Miss Murphy.
3. Both of my brothers speak Spanish as well as I do, although my brother, Dave, speaks with an annoying Castilian lisp.
4. I can eat my food faster than you can. It is freaky really, but I have always been a ridiculously fast eater.
5. My brother's wife got locked in the bathroom on her wedding night and they couldn't get her out for awhile.
6. My brother-in-law has interviewed twice to be on the White House's legal staff.
7. I am a cheapskate. (Okay, so you may have been aware of that based on my blog, but I have never explicitly explained the depth of the cheapness. Here I will only say "very deep")
8. I was afraid of a monster in my closet when I grew up.
9. I always considered myself a city kid even though I grew up in a town of 5,000 residents.
10. I was once held at gunpoint by a drunk policeman for over two hours while in Paraguay.
11. I am a direct descendant of William Bradford of Mayflower fame.
12. I have seen the Atlantic Ocean only twice (once in North America near St. Augustine, Florida and once in South America off Copacabana Beach in Rio)
13. I got a 30 on my ACT with a 36 in Math and a 24 in English and yet I aspire to be a writer. Go figure.
14. I have more hair than either of my two brothers.
15. I know Italian women's shoe sizes.
16. My Grandmother sent me a dollar for Valentine's Day when I was in college.
17. I once saved a kid from drowning in the Snake River.
18. I could drive legally when I was 14 years old. Again, you might have divined that from the fact that I am an Idahoan, but it still freaks out the Teenager.
19. I have stuck with this relationship with my blog longer than almost any other relationship in my life.
20. My kids are total angels today.

Okay, so there is one statement that is not true. See if you can guess what it is. Hint: #14 is in jeopardy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Note on Children's Lit

As a SAHD, I have had to resort to a few tricks to keep my sanity. One of these tricks is to sign up to be a reviewer of children's literature at a site called It is a not-for-profit organization started and run by a group of librarians that catalogues a number of reviews in a database and then sells the database to librarians or educators. The reviewers themselves are not compensated for the reviews they give, but they do get to keep all of the books that they review.

With that all said, I got my first batch of books and I have got to hype one of the books as an instant classic. I am a real pain in the bum with reviews as I am extremely critical, but I just had to give you all a heads-up on this one.

The book is The Water Mirror, and it is written by a German author named Kai Meyer. It is the first book of a series called the Dark Reflections series and follows the adventures of an orphaned girl named Merle as she takes an apprenticeship with a magic mirror maker in Venice. Merle enters the apprenticeship with another orphan named Junipa and they quickly form a tender friendship. As the apprenticeship continues however, Junipa and Merle start to notice odd things that are happening in and around Venice that threaten its very existence. The book is full of enchanting characters and both hijinx and real drama as the Egyptian mummy warriors threaten to attack Venice. It is eventually clear that the hope of the city rests with Merle and even Junipa, and they are quite capable of bearing that responsibility.

What an outstanding book. If you are a fan of Harry Potter or The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, or even Lord of the Rings, this book is for you and is now required reading here at WilkeWorld. Again, I rarely suggest a book to read, but this is well worth it.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A Note on Vegas


I have been out of town for the last several days on a family vacation just down the road to Las Vegas so I apologize for the lack of posts this week. I am hoping the citizens will forgive the King. All of this being said, I have a little ditty about Touchdown that occurred on our trip.

We live just 90 minutes from Las Vegas and we have gone for day trips a few times and the last time we went (maybe four months ago) we took Touchdown to see the dolphins at the Mirage. This trip we mentioned that we would be going to Las Vegas and Touchdown started in about the dolphins.

"Daddy are we to Las Vegas?"
"Yes, Touchdown, this is Las Vegas."
"But, Daddy, I don't see any dolphins."
"Honey, we aren't going to see the dolphins this trip."
"But aren't we going to Las Vegas?"
"Then where are the dolphins?"
"At the Mirage, honey."
"I don't want to go to the Mirage, I want to go to Las Vegas to see the dolphins."

Well, I wasn't about to spent another $80 for the family to see the dolphins for ten minutes again, so I took her to Caesars Forum Shops and showed her the fish tank there.

"But Daddy, there are no dolphins in there."
"Just keep looking Touchdown. They've got to be there somewhere."

It was a long trip.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A Note on Infant Safety

Well, Baby Indy's first falling off the bed experience came yesterday. He was in with the Teenager and next thing he knew, he was on the floor. The Teenager claims she had him covered but he just "surged" like nothing she had ever seen and fell off her bed.

I was tempted to be overprotective dad and yell at her to watch him more closely, but I let Touchdown fall off once while I was on the bed with her, so I totally understand the lunging/surging thing. This experience got me thinking. How many times did the Wizard let me fall off the bed on to my head. Of course, I could never remember back that far, but I must have been an active baby and I have to think I concussed once or twice. Heck, my wife is probably convinced it happened daily.

I remember one time when I was maybe 7 or 8 years-old when I slept on the top bunk of a bunk bed with my brother on the bottom bunk. I woke up one morning underneath my brother's bed. So, apparently, during the night I fell off the top bunk on to the floor, but never actually woke up. Then I rolled over several more times to wind up wedged under his bed.

Let's think about this for a minute. I fell, what, four or five feet? I must have made quite a thud. This is in fact attested to by my mother and father who have come clean to say they heard the thud and came running to check things out. They did not, however, deem it necessary to wake me up to verify that I was okay. What? I could have been in a coma or something, but they decided just to let me sleep it off. I can hear my father now. "Uh, well, honey, he looks okay. Don't you think he would wake up on his own if he was hurt. I say we just go back to bed and hope he's okay in the morning."

Great, how many times did this happen? I may never know, but the memory loss I am now experiencing now makes a lot more sense. I wish I could remember the Queen's real first name. Any ideas?

Friday, October 14, 2005

A Note on Midnight Madness

I apologize to the citizens of WilkeWorld for the following post. The Wife is giving me the evil eye as I post but sometime the King has to do what the King has to do.

Today was and is the first day of the College Basketball Season as teams were allowed to begin practices at 7:00 p.m. I am right now doing a little WilkeWorld jig. I am always so excited. As a graduate of the University of Utah, I wish now to give a review of both the Utes and the BYU Cougars. Both teams will get there run here at WilkeWorld until they prove to have no chance at making the big dance. Cougs, that means you have until the first week of January to even be considered.

I will begin with the Utes who return just two starters from last year's Sweet 16 club, Tim Drisdom and Bryant Markson. While the Mountain West coaches have the Utes picked 2nd and the national media (Street and Smith's) have them picked to win the conference, I have my reservations. Much of that reservation comes from the fact that they have no proven inside threat to score. Serbian Misha Radojevic was expected to be that threat, but thanks to an ACL injury, he will be watching everything from the bench this year. His injury severely damages the Utes' chances, especially because they have nobody else with much seasoning. Chris Jackson played a bit last year but he isn't really an offensive threat, and Luke Nevill, an enormous Australian, is projected to be quite a player but he red-shirted last year presumably to work on his game. I read that as "He's not that good."

All of that being said, the Utes do have some punch from Markson. The problem for Markson, however, is that he's never been the marked man. This year, he will draw the best defender from each opposing team and that can wear on a player. He will get his 14-16 points a night and his 6-7 boards, but I am not sure that will be enough on a lot of nights.

Lastly, I want to tell my energetic fellow Utes something. If Tim Drisdom is our starting point guard the entire season, we are in big trouble. He is an inconsistent shooter, he cannot penetrate the lane at all, and he gets picked clean at least twice a game. Heck, Jay Straight last year picked him innumerable times. No we have to hope that Johnnie Bryant is the man in the end. If he's not, it may be a long winter up on the hill.

My forecast:

Best Case Scenario--Shaun Green, a freshman, is the second coming of Josh Grant and Bryant Markson can roam like he did last year getting trash baskets. They lead the league in scoring defense and get contributions from Nevill and Langvad. They finish 24-7 and in a tie for first in the Mountain West with UNLV.

Worst Case Scenario--They can't find any offense whatsoever and despite the defense that keeps them in games they can't buy a three on the road and things get awfully ugly when they hit Laramie, Vegas, San Diego, Albuquerque and Colorado Springs. They finish 15-16 and in a tie for fifth in the conference.

What Will Happen--Green is a revelation but not enough to get Markson free to roam. Defense keeps them in games and they steal a couple on the road to get them near the top, but there are just too many questions to get them totally to the top. They finish 21-10 and in third place in the Mountain West which gets them squarely on the bubble for the tourney. In the end, the lack of a good non-conference victory dooms them and they got to the NIT.

Now for the Cougs (I told you this would be boring to my normal readers).

They have four returning starters but they have infinitely more questions than even the Utes had. Jimmy Balderson, who had a good run for the Canadian National Team over the summer, Austin Ainge, and Mike Rose all return at the guard line which could be both a curse and a blessing. Ainge is a train wreck waiting to happen (although he alone can win you a game) and both Balderson and Rose are distinguished solely for their inconsistency. They all have a year more maturity but at some point that has to translate into wins and to date it hasn't. The wild card might just be freshman, Lee Cummard, who was one of the Cougars prized recruits who has been on a Mormon mission. He is considered to be quite a shooter.

Along the baseline, BYU is a bit more consistent in that they will get a solid effort by Derek Dawes every time out and Keena Young is a battler on the boards. The problem is that neither of them has shown any offensive consistency and, unfortunately, the guards have to find a way to get them the ball. The loss of Garner Meads is really a big blow for the Cougars because he did have skills and so many of their other big men have limited skills. The coaches in the league have the Cougs dead last so it could be a long year.

Best Case Scenario--Balderson carries his hot shooting and consistent play over from the summer and becomes the leader of the team. Austin Ainge and Mike Rose shoot better than 35% from the three point line and the Cougars just run and gun. They finish the year 22-9 because of a weak nonconference schedule and place fourth in the conference just behind the Utes, Rebels and Aztecs.

Worst Case Scenario--Ainge is a head-case and Balderson goes in to the cocoon he was in last year. They can't buy a road win and find themselves getting blown out by disciplined teams both on the road and at the Marriot Center. They go 7-24 and despite their creampuff nonconference schedule they finish exactly where they were projected; last.

What Will Happen--The Cougs will find that inconsistency dooms them despite the fact that they shoot themselves into a few more wins than they should have. They finish 12-19 but they are not a team that Mountain West foes want to face in the conference tourney. I have them eighth just ahead of a miserable Colorado State team. They will do just enough to give the Cougar faithful hope for the future. With only one senior, that will be where they will rest all of their hopes, at least for this year.

That's it. Let the games begin.

A Memory of College

This is going to be a short post as I just want to set the record straight.

I did, in fact, encourage my dorm mates to throw a parking barricade out of the 7th floor of our dorms into a tree.

I was never implicated in the deed, but I was there and did encourage.

There. Now I can go on my way. It has been weighing on me now for 17 years. No one was injured but the sound woke everyone up at 1:00 AM.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

A Note on "Cain's Eulogy"

Just thinking of the holiday season and got to thinking this might be fun. Wrote this for the holiday. Happy Halloween.

'Twas six feet deep, a mighty hole,
Dug by an aging hand.
'Twas six feet deep, a mighty hole,
Carved in the midnight sand.

'Twixt tired oak and windblown elm,
A rotting corpse did lie;
And from within the musty pit,
A deathly voice did cry.

"Away cursed fiends, oh, ruthless thieves.
Do not stir my soul.
For here I rest amidst the worms
To pay my earthly toll.

And if thou but just touch my brow
On this unhallowed eve,
A wicked curse will torture thee
And cause thy heart to grieve.

So get thee hence, or die with me
In this abhorred grave.
For soon the reaper comes to claim
Thy flesh. So go! Behave!

Yes, leave me here, oh, pitious fools
To haunt and fade and wilt
With haughty demons, morbid thoughts,
And long enduring guilt.

For endless is the tempestuous death
Of a corrupt and vile man,
Doomed to spend eternity
With Satan's ghastly clan."

The words soon flee with windy haste,
And silence stills the night.
Only shadows of the dreadful past
Dance in the pale moonlight.

Yet a mighty hole, six feet deep,
Grimly marks the spot,
Where sin and lust and selfish pride
Condemned a man to rot.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Note on Autumnal Festivities

To hush the grumpy old Wizard who is apparently miffed by my all-too-frequent potty training stories, and to satisfy the promptings of The Wife who has urged me to write on this topic for two days now, I offer up this observation.

The Corn Maze. I don't really get it. I paid 4 bucks (it was really 7 but I had a coupon) to enter in to the Staheli Farm Annual Corn Maze and Dust Bowl to find myself wandering aimlessly through a corn field. I might have been mad but I was too fascinated at my own gross dereliction to do much more than sigh and chuckle.

Now the Wife has always found the Corn Maze to be a genuinely stellar family activity. We dress up in our warm autumn gear. Here in Saint George, that means long pants and an actual shirt for most folks. For my wife, it means moon boots and snow pants. Needless to say, we were prepared for a blizzard if one should have blown through. Add to the joy of the evening, an infant of six months (Indy) and a child who is afraid of dogs and most other animals (Touchdown) and the Teenager who came straight from swimming and would have eaten a dog had one been offered, and you have the makings of a fun fest.

I did manage to eventually find the farm (a whole nother story) and we entered in to what was, well, just that, a farm. There were kids roping cow skulls and kids throwing straw into the air and kicking up dirt with there boots. Way on the far side, though, we spotted the tractor and the wagon that would take us to the Corn Maze.

The idea of a corn maze could I guess be fun (if you drank alcohol and you didn't have children) but for the Jones family it was an exercise in patience and forebearance. We gave the map to the Teenager and trusted in her judgment. Touchdown immediately made the comment of the day. She said, "Daddy, where are we going?"

That is, indeed, a great question. Well, in this corn maze the object was to get lost in the maze and then find your way out. So the answer to her question "We are going into the corn and then back out of the corn. Aren't you having fun?"

"Yes, Daddy," she replied.

Kids are so gullible. I didn't have the guts to tell her that we were going to go around in circles until we got sick of it and walked out through the corn stalks like cheaters. Oh, and we may get ran over by drunkards. Happy Halloween.

Thankfully, the drunkard quotient was low on this night and we were quite safe. Well, I can't wait for next year when the Wife gets excited again to go out to the Corn Maze. I don't drink but I may just ask her for a fifth of whiskey and a gun. I would have a lot more fun.

This Halloween stuff puts me in a great mood. I shall post more vents in the future.

Monday, October 10, 2005

A Note on Progress

I am still mulling over what to purchase with our $200 million, but in the meantime, I will share this little nugget.

Touchdown, as many of you are aware, has been trying dutifully to master the potty training thing. She has actually made some progress. This past weekend we purchased absorbent pink panties and she has taken a likening to them and does not want to poop or pee in them. It has been exhausting dragging her to the potty every thirty minutes, but she has done well and we are pleased.

That being said, on Friday after a successful morning of perfect pottying, little Touchdown had an accident. The Teenager and the Wife went in to find pee all over in the bathroom. It was especially concentrated right in front of the toilet and on the front of the bowl. They also noticed Touchdown soaked in pee with her panties down around her ankles. Both the Teenager and the Wife shouted in unison, "Touchdown what happened? Why didn't you go in the potty?"

Without missing a beat, Little Touchdown looked at them and casually replied, "I did go potty. Just like Daddy, standing up."

I am a good roll model.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Note on Winning

I would really like to thank Indigo at the QOTD for her generosity in awarding the King the $205 million dollar Powerball lottery. I am generally against games of chance, but I had a good feeling on this one and chose my numbers wisely. I feel so lucky.

So, here's the deal. I need help deciding what to spend all the money on. I have a few things already picked out that will help the ambience here in WilkeWorld, but I need my cabinet to help out with the rest of the spending.

Here's what I have purchased so far.

$4 million dollar chateau in Blue Springs, Florida so that we can all go down and watch the sea cows in relative luxury.

$1 million dollars on a golf membership to Pebble Beach.

Better Safe Than Sorry's yellow chairs for all of us for our gardens. Total cost $874.

Lifetime supply of pull-ups for Touchdown (I wonder if she will ever master this potty training thing). Total cost $4800.

$12,000 hot tub for the Castle.

That's it so far folks. I need more suggestions. We still have just under $200 million to spend. Let me know what you'd like for your part of the Kingdom.

Oh, John Cowart has been needing a new dogcatcher van. Total cost $8500.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A List of Beauty

Again, in response to the prompts at the Alchera Project, I have decided to produce this list of beauty. I have mentioned a few of the things that will be on this list in previous posts, but hopefully this will be a bit new and different. He we go...

5 Beautiful Women

1. The Wife--What can I say?
2. My Mother--Hey, they say you marry your mother.
3. Audrey Hepburn--Roman Holiday
4. Jane Seymour--And she has how many kids?
5. Princess Grace--Pure class

See, I did that and hopefully didn't get in much trouble.

5 Painters of Beauty

1. Rembrandt Van Rijn--I consider him the quintessential painter of all time.
2. Jean Baptiste Camille-Corot--Love the colors.
3. Camille Pissarro--Again the colors are so wonderful.
4. Louis-Eugene Boudin--Love the beach scenes tremendously.
5. Eugene Delacroix--Everything about his stuff.

I don't know what this says about my sense of beauty, but, hey, its what I like.

5 Beautiful Places I Want to Visit

1. The Caribbean--I kind of want to go to St. Lucia to be honest.
2. Fiji--The wife and I honeymooned in Moorea near Tahiti and Fiji sounds just as exotic.
3. Machu Picchu, Peru--It is just so rugged and full of mystery.
4. Northern Wales--I just want to check out the castles.
5. Seychelles--Its a long way away and it would be cool to check it off my list of islands.

5 Writers of Beauty

1. Thomas Gray--His Elegy is my favorite poem of all-time.
2. Rick Reilly--Now this may seem weird but a guy who writes a book about caddies is a stud.
3. Victor Hugo--This is the best writer of the beautiful soul I have ever read.
4. Robert Frost--I'm not fond of most New England poets but Frosty is a gem.
5. William Stafford--Another Western poet that just gets it.

5 Beautiful Things

1. Touchdown's smile at 6:00 A.M.
2. Baby Indy's smile at 6:01 A.M. just after being jarred into consciousness.
3. The Teenager's smile as we tease her about boys.
4. The Wife's smile when all the children go to Grandpa's house for a sleepover.
5. K's smile when he looks at his family.

Hope you enjoyed this installment.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Note on Mornings

The crisp click of the bathroom door as it closes. The muffled gurgle of the toilet flushing. The constant whirring of that hair dryer. Oh, good, she's turned it off. No, it's back on again.

Oh, hey, look, I'm awake. I'm hungry, too. I haven't eaten in like four hours. Does that seem like a long time or what? Where are they? I'll cry. That always gets them. Especially that woman. She can't stand it when I cry. The fat guy that always says, "No", he doesn't respond nearly as well as the woman. Why aren't they coming in yet? Oh, yeah, the hair dryer. I'll cry louder. I wonder who's gonna get me. I'll betcha a Cheerio and a fish cracker it's the woman. Yep, here she comes carrying that bottle. Good. Very good.

She's taking me into the bedroom. Excellent. I'll just lay here next to the fat guy and drink my bottle. Good times. This seems to be an excellent nipple. I remember the whole fiasco with the fast nipples. It was like they were trying to drown me. I threw a fit that week, I'll tell ya. No, these nipples are just fine.

From this angle, the fat guy has enormous nostrils. I wonder what would happen if I...just...reached...up...and...put my finger in it like THIS! He doesn't appear to enjoy that. What was that, fat guy? Did I hear a little swear word? The woman will be very upset with you just as soon as I start crying. See? I told you she would be upset.

Hey, wait, what are you doing now? Not that. Enough of the kissing thing, already. Get a room. They do this all the time. Then they'll come over and do the same thing to me. See, I told you so.

I kind of like those two.

Hey, are those my feet?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Note on the Two Point Conversion

Well, today marks the 3rd anniversary of the birth of our little Touchdown. She was born under rather humble circumstances three years ago in Ogden, Utah. I can remember very well the occasion.

The Wife and I went in to have the Wife induced and at about 4 pm, our little Touchdown was born. She was as cute as a button and I remember that she immediately looked around the room trying to identify her daddy. She definitely recognized my voice and wanted to see who I was. Following that little treat, both Touchdown and I went to the weighing and cleaning room where we waited for the nurses to conduct some tests and give my little bundle of joy a sponge bath. In the meantime another baby and father came in.

Now I know that all babies are wonders, but as I sat in that little room alone with my little baby, I realized she was an angel. The other baby that came in was ugly. I mean ugly in a "Wow, that baby is really ugly" kind of way and I remember being so happy that my little baby wasn't ugly like that little baby. Maybe that is absolutely horrible to say (The wife tells me it is), but I don't care. Some babies are just ugly. Heck, ask my father. I was an ugly baby. But my little Touchdown was most definitely the cutest thing in there. I remember making sure they put the tag on correctly, cause I didn't want them messing up and giving us that ugly baby.

Well, three years later, my Touchdown is still the cutest little thing on the planet. She is a handful, but she is worth every ounce of trouble she causes.

We love you little Touchdown. You are a beacon of joy to the world.